Financing of abortion

Every year, the taxpayers subsidize the killing of hundreds of thousands of unborn and defenceless children in Germany with about 40 million euros.


I. Statutory basis

The statutory basis of the financing is the „Gesetz zur Hilfe für Frauen bei Schwangerschaftsabbrüchen in besonderen Fällen“ (SFHG; Law to help women with abortions in particular cases) which came into effect on the first of January 1996.

The SFGH had been issued by the Bundestag in 1995 since the Federal Constitutional Court had declared in its jugdement from the 28th of May 1993 the preceded financing of “illegal” abortions by the health insurance companies unconstitutional.

According to the SFHG a woman has – independent of the income of the child´s father – “the right to get the costs of an abortion paid, if it cannot be expected of her to raise the money for the termination of a pregnancy and if she has her residence or permanent address within the scope of this law”. According to § 1 cl. 2 this is the case if „the personal income of the pregnant woman which is monthly available” does not exceed 929 euro (version of the first of July 2005). This corresponds to a gross income of about 1.400,- euros. Every year on the first of July the income limit is adjusted to the pensions. It increases by 227,- euros for every child under obligation to provide maintenance.


II. Extent of financing with tax revenues

Until the end of 2002, the sixteen German countries have paid together about 250 million euros for the financing of “illegal” but “unpunished” abortions according to the advice law. This is the answer of the federal government to the “Kleine Anfrage” of the member of the Bundestag (CDU), Hubert Hüppe (Bundestagsdrucksache 15/1556 S. 67 - 69).

Hence, since 1996 the Fed. Countries have reimbursed the health insurance companies costs amounting to 250.532.352,60 euros for the killing of 810.947 children. This corresponds to 90,3 percent of the abortions reported by the Statistisches Bundesamt in Wiesbaden which were carried out according to the so-called „advice law“. The resulting calculated average costs of an abortion amount to 308,94 euros.

According to the journalists Stefan Rehder and Veronika Blasel, the competent authorities in the Fed. Countries have subsidized the financing of “unpunished” but “illegal” abortions with more than 40 million euros only in 2002.

In most of the countries, the costs of abortions carried out according to § 218 a cl.1 are reimbursed by the competent authorities. In Bremen, the reimbursement is made by the senator of work, women, health, youth and social matters, in Schleswig-Holstein by the ministry of social matters, health and consumer protection.

The pregnant woman who wants to have an abortion must apply for the paying of the costs at the health insurance company. If the “conditions” are given, according to § 3 cl. 2, the health insurance company “immediately has to issue a certification of paying the costs“.

But how it is possible to make the „facts credible“ if it is said at the same time in cl. 5: „during the whole procedure, you have to pay attention to the personality right of the woman in consideration of the particular situation of the pregnancy“, this is the secret of the legislator.

So, at the federal organization of the AOK in Bonn, they call it “carrying out a statutory order”. In a “Common circular of the leading organizations of the health insurance companies” (version of the first of July 2003) it is said in paragraph 4.7: „ to establish the income that is relevant for the claim to benefits the credible explanation of the income and financial circumstances by the pregnant woman is sufficient. This is made by filling in and signing a form – according to the questionnaire pattern in annex 4. Provided that on the Land´s level a different form was agreed this form has to be used.“

Basically, everybody being able to complete such a questionnaire in a partly consistent way can count on the reimbursement by the taxpayer of an illegal killing of an unborn child.


III. Bavaria as a particular case

With exception of Bremen, only Bavaria has a particular status. In difference to Niedersachsen and Nordrhein-Westfalen, where in 2002, for 96 percent respectively 94 percent of all „illegal“ but „unpunished“ abortion the costs were reimbursed by regional country funds, in Bavaria a certain examination of the cases seems to be normal:

In 2001, the Land Bavaria reimbursed about 3,7 million euros in 10.454 of 16.464 cases (63,5 %).

Literature (in excerpts)

  • Bundestagsdrucksache 15/1556
  • Stefan Rehder, Veronika Blasel: Staatsaufgabe Abtreibung. In: Lebensforum Nr. 68 (2003) (Abortion as a government´s appointment)
  • Manfred Spieker: Der Verleugnete Rechtsstaat. Anmerkungen zur Kultur des Todes in Europa. Paderborn 2005. (The denied state under the rule of law. Comments to the culture of death in Europe.)
  • Manfred Spieker: Kirche und Abtreibung in Deutschland. Paderborn 2000. (Church and abortion in Germany)